Dematic, a global supplier of integrated automated technology, software and services to optimize the supply chain, has acquired NDC Automation, a provider of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and software in Australia and New Zealand.
Analyst Insight: Labor costs are rising just as the availability of workers is shrinking and turnover is increasing. According to the Census Bureau, 60 million Baby Boomers will exit the workforce by 2025, but only 40 million new workers will enter. Companies must rethink how they bridge that gap and keep costs in-line. Many life sciences companies are reaching a scale where investments in automation help replace manual, labor-intensive operations. But companies must be careful in evaluating automation investments. - Roger Counihan, Life Sciences Industry Leader, Fortna Inc.
In the latest Worldwide Commercial Robotics Spending Guide, International Data Corp. forecasts global spending on robotics and related services to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17 percent from more than $71bn in 2015 to $135.4bn in 2019. The guide measures purchases of robotic systems, system hardware, software, robotics-related services, and after-market robotics hardware on a regional level across 13 key industries and 52 use cases.
As a vital part of the supply chain, today's warehouses need to be efficient, tightly integrated profit centers. Making this happen relies on the warehouse employees' efficiency as they go about shipping and receiving, fulfilling and picking orders, and doing inventory. All these functions rely on warehouse computer terminals that are designed for the job they are doing, whether that's a computer mounted on a forklift or a handheld tablet device. The problem is, sometimes the design of these terminals prevents workers from operating as efficiently as they otherwise could.
Robert Gordon, an economist at Northwestern University, likes to play a game he calls Find the Robot. As he goes about his everyday life - shopping, traveling through airports - he looks for machines performing tasks that humans once handled. Most of what he sees doesn't impress him.